PR Industry Trends: Salary Survey Results 2019

As we approach the new financial year, we thought it would be the perfect time to publish the results of our 2019 PR Industry Salary Survey. We asked a wide range of our PR agency clients to share their salary information with us, for both candidates and agencies to benchmark against.

As before, we’ve included information on benefits and training, as well as the average minimum & maximum salary ranges for each level of seniority in PR and Digital roles.

Due to the continued demand for Technology PR talent, the majority of our client base does tend to sit within this sector of PR. However, the salary ranges are also represented across sectors including Corporate Comms, Consumer Tech, Lifestyle, Financial Comms, Travel, Food & Drink and Professional Services to name a few.

The average salaries don’t seem to have increased too wildly from last year – a Junior Account Executive now being £21,000 and an Account Manager being around the £34,000 mark. This is only a £1k increase on last year’s averages. Compare it to around 5 years ago though, when JAE’s could expect to start on around £17,000 and an average AM salary was around £28,000. Salaries have clearly, steadily increased over the years.

Personally, we feel that salaries have climbed in this vain due to candidate demand. There is still, whether rightly or wrongly, a huge opportunity for candidates to name their price when it comes to moving jobs. Particularly within the sectors which are more challenging to recruit for – namely B2B Technology, Corporate and Financial Comms. Although most agencies will naturally look to offer within the parameters of their own salary bandings, there tends to be flexibility with salaries dependent on the candidate in question… generally based on the skills they bring to the table and their expertise within a particular industry area, for example.

Benefits on offer haven’t changed too much compared with last year – although more of our clients now seem to offer opportunities to work from home, sabbaticals and share options, which is great to see! Work/life balance is so important to candidates in the PR industry, so the softer benefits such as working from home, social events, wellness stipends and holiday bonuses are always well received.

Generally, the salary ranges are aligned with what we see day to day and aren’t all that surprising. However, we are finding that candidates with a lower level of experience, whether that be a JAE with only 6 months under their belt, or an aspiring Senior Account Manager looking to step up after a short period of time as an Account Manager, are securing the opportunities they go for. Whether this is again, due to demand within the industry and the need for agencies to be more flexible on the amount of experience a candidate has for them to hire, or it being down to the ever-quick career progression of PR professionals, who knows!

Hopefully the above salary information gives agencies a guideline as to the industry averages and proves a useful benchmarking tool to ensure they’re remaining competitive in this fast-moving industry. Equally, it should prove to candidates that agencies are keeping up with the times and are generally willing to come in line with gently increasing salary expectations.

If you would like further insight into the results of the survey please give us a call on 020 3198 0081.